Sunday, July 14, 2013


Almost Eighteen (Wilson Mooney, #1)Series: Wilson Mooney #1
Publisher: gdelao
Publication Date: 9/4/11
Format: Kindle ebook
Pages: 314
Source: Received from author as a gift/review

Abandoned by her mother at the vulnerable age of eight; only to be shipped off to a boarding school in Northern California by her grandparents, Wilson Mooney, is one girl who knows what it’s like to have to grow up way too fast. Now, a month away from turning eighteen and orphaned by the death of her grandparents; she knows exactly what she wants. All it takes is a spontaneous ski trip with her narcissistic roommate to Colorado, to make it a reality. When he happens to show up at a party in Aspen, Wilson becomes tangled in the powerful emotions of first love, sexual inexperience, and society’s principles. She lives a whirlwind weekend filled with newly discovered boundaries, calloused aches for a family she never had, and all the pressures of keeping their weekend together a secret.

Almost Eighteen left me feeling one strong emotion: Conflicted.

I knew that this was a story of a "forbidden" romance, but wasn't aware that the relationship in question that between a student and teacher. I don't have an inherent problem with that trope, particularly when the teacher is twenty-two and the student is almost eighteen. I have no problem with it at all when it's at the collegiate level, as long as neither participant is married. I'm not saying that it is okay, at all, but I am saying that I can see how it happens. The problem for me is, when I was a senior in high school, I was put in the middle of a "he said/she said" situation between a teacher I was close to and a friend. It wasn't an affair like this, but it was pretty traumatic nonetheless. It's an area that still upsets me all these years later. So I'm not the easiest sell on teacher/student relationships.

That's not to say that I can't be at least won over by their story. If I can feel the emotions, that torture between wanting someone and knowing that it is wrong. If there is an establishment of the characters and relationship. If the emotions are slow building, pulling me along on a path that is both wrong and undeniable. And that's where Almost Eighteen lost me. It wasn't the forbidden relationship between Wilson and Max that didn't win me over. It's that the build-up of emotions and tensions between them was minimal.

The story begins with Wilson's internal thoughts about her teacher, Max. How much she wants him, and would do anything to have him. Lo and behold, the two end up in Aspen on the same weekend. After partying together, Wilson and Max begin flirting heavily, and confess their attraction. Max says it can't happen and Wilson is devastated. Then Max comes back, and it's on. He does draw the line at actually consummating the relationship until Wilson's birthday, but they do engage in other activities. I can understand Wilson's actions. She is seventeen years old, and has no family to speak of. She needs someone. She's young and seemed immature, and that's okay. She's seventeen. It's Max that bothered me. He never seemed truly conflicted over becoming involved with an underage student. And, he seemed more like a high school boy than a grown man, which I guess works in this case.

Having said that, I didn't actively dislike Almost Eighteen, and I wouldn't discourage anyone else from giving it a try. I was compelled to see how the this installment of the story ended. I'm not a mean person, and I know that love can have really bad timing. I just didn't feel it in this instance. I have a few friends that love this book, and have read that the second book, Becoming Eighteen is better. So, there's that.

I do want to share a couple of positive GoodReads reviews for Almost Eighteen:

Erin's Review (I love Erin's reviews) and Musing's Review

Purchase Almost Eighteen at (only $0.99!):
(I receive no compensation for purchases)
The Wilson Mooney Series
Almost Eighteen (Wilson Mooney, #1)Eighteen at Last (Wilson Mooney, #2)

About the author:
By day Gretchen teaches computers, by night she dawns the cloak of motherhood, wifehood, and authorship. She is finding her way through self-publishing and is truly learning to let go with every curve and bump in the creative process. Gretchen enjoys writing about first loves and first times, in the first person. She is a firm believer that anything is possible if you set your mind to it; and what you expect out of life, always finds a way of showing up.

She happily lives in Northern California with her amazing husband, their three terrific boys, her talented mother, one goofy black lab, one crazy kitty, and eight happy chickens. Even though it sounds like it, she doesn't live on a farm.

Connect with Gretchen at:
Website  |  Twitter Facebook (Author Page)  |  Facebook (Series Page)



  1. I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy this book as much as you'd hoped Andrea, especially when some of your friends really enjoyed it. I would be quite intrigued to see how this book would end, but I think the back and forth between characters would probably bug me. Great review Andrea!

  2. It does sound like a conflicting read. I also know someone who dated a teacher. Everyone seemed fine with it (even though they kept it on the DL) and it didn't work out int he long run for all the reasons you know why it won't lol but still it's not always cut and dry. Especially when they are still both relatively young. (Not an obviously much older teacher/underage student)

  3. The student teacher thing can be tough when you don't see the build up. It's a shame this one didn't work for you. Thanks for the honest review.

  4. I don't think student/teacher relationships bother me so much if the age difference is minimal. These two are pretty close in age and had he not been a teacher the difference wouldn't be an issue, IMO. It looks like the issue here is more about the believability of the attraction between these two. I'm not sure this story would work for me, either if that's the case. Nice honest review, Andrea. :)

  5. I tend to enjoy forbidden romance books, but I need to be sold on it. The characters have to really make me feel their situation. If I have no emotional investment, it won't work for me. Great review hon!!

  6. Oh crap! I'm supposed to read this soon. I didn't know it was teacher/student and I just struggle with those - like a lot. Must be the teacher in me. Not sure I can read it now. Thanks for the review, pal.

  7. Interesting covers, I have to say. I'm fascinated by teacher-student relationships...especially when they are so close in age and it becomes a bit more understandable. One book I'd say worked well is Where You Are by J.H. Trumble. It's about two guys, one a teacher and the other a student and they end up together. But I felt like it worked and you felt the struggle and passion.


  8. Andrea,

    Hey friend,
    I had this on my list. Thank You for the honest review. I will have to rethink it now!


    A Bookish Escape

  9. I'm sorry this one left you so conflicted, Andrea. But I'm thinking it's understandable. And I'm always so glad to get your honest opinion on a book. Thanks so much for that. This book is actually on my TBR but I will think long and hard about whether or not to spend any time on it. :)

  10. This trope is very interesting to me! However, I need to feel the build up! Tjhat's what makes it so much better! Plus, I don't understand how the teacher wouldn't have some sort of reservations. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  11. It's interesting, I only ever find teacher/student relationships wrong when the teacher is older, like 10-15 years older. I never really understood why it was so wrong when it came to the two-time yr age difference. I'm sorry to hear, however that the romance to this story wasn't as credible as you would have liked Andrea. Thanks for your honesty.

  12. This is a tricky topic. I will read this one at some point. Erin loves this series. Nice review.

  13. I don't know if I am interested in this particular book, but I really don't have a problem with the teacher/student thing either, as you said, especially at the collegiate level, but the lack of emotional buildup would bother me. I really don't have a problem if the student is in high school and close to 18, if the teacher is only a few years older. I guess it would just depend on the situation. I think it is frowned up and there is so much more publicity about it now than there were back when I was in high school. I remember one of my classmates, he was a guy, dated our government teacher during 11th and 12th grade, and went on to marry her about 4 years after that. She was 7 years his senior though. They didn't advertise their relationship, but everyone knew about it. She'd probably go to jail today. I guess I would have to evaluate it on a case by case basis. I know when I was a teenager I dated a few guys who were 4 years older than me and thought nothing about it. Of course, they weren't my teacher. Thanks for the enlightening review.


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